8 Tips for Handling a Death Following a Collision


In 2018, over 33,000 people died in car crashes in the US. California, Texas, and Georgia top the list of states with the most fatalities. If your family has experienced a death following a collision, you may want to hire an attorney, particularly if there was negligence involved.

If you find yourself in the unimaginable position of dealing with this situation, we are here to help. Keep reading for 8 things to do to handle the death of a loved one following a car collision.

1. Seek Medical Attention if You Were Involved

If you were involved in the accident, seek medical attention immediately, particularly if your injury was serious. While it might be tempting to decline medical care, especially if you think you feel fine, you should still get checked out.

You may have internal injuries or bleeding that you aren’t aware of. Your adrenaline might be surging and this reduces your body’s ability to feel pain, so while you might be injured, the adrenaline that results after an event like a collision might be

2. Take Photos

If you were not injured and are still at the scene of the accident, take photos of both cars, the scene, and anything surrounding the accident scene that you may think is relevant. The police will also take photos, but it’s important that you have your own as well.

3. Get Contact Information from Witnesses

If there were any witnesses to the accident, including those in the other vehicle or vehicles, get their contact information. If you end up filing a lawsuit, your attorney will want to speak with them.

Like the photos, the police will most likely gather this information and include it in the police report, but in the event they don’t, you’ll have this information available for your attorney and insurance company.

4. Ensure that a Police Report is Filed

A police report must be filed both for your insurance company and if you decide to file a lawsuit later. The police report should include details of the accident, photos, information about the weather and other conditions, contact information for the witnesses, insurance information for any other drivers involved, and details about who was at fault.

Once this is completed, which may take a day or two, you’ll want to get a copy of this so you can provide it to your insurance company and to an attorney, if you hire one. Keep a copy of the accident report for your own files as well.

5. Make Sure Evidence is Preserved

Any information you gather from the accident is considered evidence, including photos, witness statements and contact information, the police report, and medical records. Keep copies of everything pertaining to the accident; you can never have too much documentation.

Before the cars are removed from the scene, make sure the police complete their investigation and gather all of the necessary information for their police report so you can ensure that you get the maximum compensation that you may be entitled to.

6. Contact Your Insurance Company

If you were driving, your insurance company will need to be contacted so you can start the claim process. If you were not driving, but your loved one who was killed in the accident was, you will need to contact their insurance company.

Insurance companies will want information about the accident, the others involved, as well as the police report. This will help them determine who was at fault. If the other driver or drivers were at fault, insurance companies will typically go after their insurance companies to pay the bills associated with the collision.

If your insurance company offers you a settlement, do not accept it before speaking with an attorney. Insurance companies are concerned with their bottom line, so it is in their best interest to settle with you or your family for as little as possible.

7. Speak With an Attorney

Contact an attorney who specializes in car accident injuries or deaths as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will be able to advise you whether they think you have a case and they can guide you through the process. They will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and take the case to trial if need be.

Before selecting an attorney, make sure they are experienced with car accidents and wrongful death suits. Ask questions and do some research before selecting an attorney.

8. Consider a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

If others are responsible for the death of your loved one, you may consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit. There are some requirements, however, that determine who is eligible to file this type of suit.

First, you must have the right to recover. Those who have the right to recover include spouses, children, parents, siblings or other individuals who are financially dependent on the person who has died. There may be a state statute specifying who can file a wrongful death suit in your state.

You will also have to show negligence and then document the damages suffered as the result of the accident. Damages could include medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, the loss of future income from the defendant, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering.

spouses, children, parents, siblings or other individuals who are financially dependent on the decedent.

How to Handle a Death Following a Collision: Stay Strong

If you find yourself in the terrible situation of having to handle a death following a collision, of either a family member or close friend, it will undoubtedly be a difficult time in your life. Stay strong to get justice for your family member or friend.

Difficult as it may be, try to use this list to help ensure that you can hold those who are at fault responsible for the death. Sweet Law can assist you in your case, as we specialize in both car accidents as well as wrongful death cases. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.

Related Posts

car accident legal advice

Hit and Run Car Accident? What You Need to Do Right Now

More than one hit-and-run accident happens every minute in the United States. Being the victim of a hit-and-run crash is extremely stressful because you often don’t know who is responsible for your damages. Even if you have insurance, it can be tricky to get them to cover the accident when there’s no other driver. Fortunately, […]

filing lawsuits

Time Limits on Filing Lawsuits: How Soon Do You Need to File After an Accident or Injury?

Every year, thousands of people are hurt in accidents that are not their fault. From car accidents to medical malpractice to defective products, personal injuries happen every day. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may have extensive medical expenses, lost wages, or even permanent disability.  If the insurance company of the responsible party […]

vehicle insurance

In a Crash With No Vehicle Insurance? What You Need to Do Immediately

California ranks 10th in the nation when it comes to the number of uninsured drivers on the road. In fact, 16.6 percent of drivers in California don’t have vehicle insurance. If you’re in an accident and don’t have insurance, you might be afraid and have no idea what to do next. Don’t panic! Keep reading […]

hiring a lawyer

How to Find the Best Lawyer, and What Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Lawyer

According to the American Bar Association, there are well over 1.3 million lawyers in the US.  If you’re looking for a lawyer, it can be hard to know where to start.  However, it’s essential for the success of your suit that you find one who is equipped to handle your specific case, who has experience, the right specialization, and […]

Help Is Here

We have answers. Tell us about your situation.

Call (800) 674-7854 or request a callback below
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Police Report Request Form

Police Report Request

"*" indicates required fields

Name*
Sweet Lawyers has my permission to help provide a free police report.*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.